Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Review: Puppet Master (1989)

Stars: Irene Miracle, Paul le Matt

Budget: $400,000

Directed By: David Schmoeller

Puppet master I remember watching this again as a young kid and not really understanding it fully other than it was moderately funny, had some cool little puppets in there and wasn't scary in the slightest. On rewatching it a few years later I finally was able to follow it's story a little better (though not much as I touch on later). I had always gotten it into my mind that the puppets were evil see and though this is true here they do end up some times being either the heroes, antiheroes or just the villian's in later instalments.

Later instalments of which there are many, possibly more than most other horror franchises actually. These possessed puppets have been the focus of many a film maker. Despite the fact that series has never garnered a massive ratings hit in any of its iterations, even to today it only has a small cult following. Smaller than than many other franchises that live on to today like child's play or Friday the 13th, yet there are fans there for this series.

The original here centres on a puppet maker named André Toulon. He has discovered a method of bring inanimate creations to life. It is 1939 when we meet him and he is working on a new puppet.
We see some of his other creations skulking about as he finishes up. One is khan who is watching through the window, the other is puppet master staple blade.
A white faced grinning puppet that has a long black coat, black Stetson and a large sharp knife for one hand, hence the name.
Blade sees two Nazis (who we later learn have been looking for Toulon) enter the building. He manages to make it back to the room before they do. Andre finishes the puppet and places it along with the all the others in a sealed of hole in the wall. Before the soldiers get to him he ends his own life with a gunshot.

Flash to 1989. Random psychics Alex, Dana, Frank, and Carrissa are having odd visions (funny to see Barbara Crampton cameo in one of these scenes) each of them make contact with a mutual friend called Neil Gallagher. They work out that they have found the secret hiding place of Andre Toulon. They all go to the Bodega bay Inn and are greeted by Megan Neil's wife, the inn being the one we saw from the beginning in 1939, she proceeds to tell them that neil shot himself.
Disbelieving but curious the psychics investigate and have more visions. Someone being raped in an elevator, another one is a masked guy dancing with Megan, who turns out to be Neil when he takes his mask off.

Each one of the psychics has a special area, some or able to touch and receive a vision while others like Dana can tell fortunes. Later a puppet with a misproportioned body and small head (pinhead) climbs out of Neil's casket.
We learn later that the four of them were helping Neil research an ancient way of alchemy. Doing so Frank and Neil discover the ability to make the elixir that bestows life on inanimate objects. Unable to perfect it they further learn about Toulon who was a 'True Alchemist' and seek his work out to help them.
Neil inexplicably vanished soon after and a few of them believe he ran off with some new knowledge he found.

That night the puppets get up to all sorts of mischief from knocking out Theresa to just downright killing Carrissa and Frank when they try, in a sexy fun time way to contact Neil.
Dana also ends up killed in a way she forsaw by blade cutting her throat.
Finally Megan takes Alex to André Toulon's room where she says Neil found the secret to the formula. Afraid for his life he and Megan rush downstairs to find the others corpses in the dinning room with a very much alive Neil.

This film is messed up, it feels like it wasn't cut properly in places and the story is genuinely all over the place. This series I can genuinely say got better as the film's went on well atleast to a midway point where it kind of slumped again. One interesting fact is that they also did a crossover with demonic toys (an even worse franchise than this) one possitive I can give this series is they are entertainingly funny, the dolls are very creative too especially tunneler who has a spiral drill on his head. Effects wise I can say some are downright terrible with others middling to fair.
THN awards puppet master a two star rank with a mild watch it if your in the mood recommendation.

Friday, 30 November 2018

Review: Piranha 3D (2010)

Stars: Ving Rhames, Elisabeth Shue

Budget: $24 million

Directed By: Alexandre Aja

Another remake of the original 1978 version, only this time with quite a few changes to the story. Such as the Piranha's origins and the inclusion of more modern themes, as well as lots and lots of quite explicit nudity.
This one also reintroduces the comedy of the 70's version in a very heavy tongue in cheek way.

Roger Corman had no input in this remake at all. This stars a LOT of familiar faces and people of the time that were associated with schlock horror.
Such as Ving Rhames, Jerry O'connell, Dina Meyer, Christopher LLoyd and many others.
Was funny to see Richard Dreyfus pop up as a parody of his Jaws character too.

Right off the bat i'm not a massive fan of this version mainly for the 3D bit as you know i'm half blind in one eye and 3D/VR stuff don't work for me, but box office wise it did do well and even managed spawn it's own sequel too.

So this time some fisherman, Boyd (Mr Dreyfus) fishing as an earth quake hits and breaks open a previously sealed chamber from a different era. This causes a disturbance in the water and Boyd falls in to be torn apart by the prehistoric piranha.
 Jake Forster is a young man and into admiring all the good looking ladies on the beach this spring break, as a young lad is want to do. He is however a bit down on his luck with the ladies, as proven when he bumps into his ex Kelly Driscoll. Her boyfriend is the typical arsehole you get in films like this, why do girls leave nice guys and get with dicks in movies? (and in real life)
Jake later meets a greasy guy called Derrick (O'Connell) who turns out to be a pornographer, you know one of those guys who makes a video taking advantage of girls showing more than they should on spring break to make some money on producing it. We also meet one of his actresses played by super hot model Kelly Brook.

Later on we join Ving and Shue playing cops Fallon and Julie Forester who are called in by Boyd's wife reporting him missing. When they come across his mutilated corpse they worry and don't know whether to close down the lake, this is made hard by the fact that there's thousands of people currently enjoying spring break there. Unknown to them later more people are attacked by the killer fish.

Jack has to try and persuade his sister and brother (Laura and Zane) not to come to beach so he doesn't get caught showing Derrick some of the 'prime spots' around to film his videos. Zane and Laura get stranded on a little sand dune in the middle of the lake when their boat floats away.
Jake goes to Derrick who has also invited Kelly onto his yacht also, joining them is another one of his actresses too.

Elsewhere Julie has taken a group of experts to check out the lake, they are seismologist divers, Dina Meyer being one of them (Paula). They inspect the new fissure and come to the conclusion that it dates back to prehistoric times which isn't good. Paula and one of the others dive deeper into the fissure where they end up discovering loads of piranha eggs.
The killer fish attack of them as they try to get back to the boat, Julie and the specialist pull Paula's corpse onto the boat and capture a piranha in the process. They take this piranha to Christopher Lloyds retired marine biologist where he explains it's a long thought extinct species that have survived through cannibalism and fast re-population.

With this new, news the police coupled with other survivor go to evacuate the lake, unfortunately they are to late and the killer piranha's have started killing people, they do their best to help. Meanwhile on Derricks boat Jack spots his brother and sister then sends Derrick to go rescue them, he crashes the boat on some rocks doing so.
Unknown to them the lower decks start to flood, the boat starts to sink. Derrick, Crystal and Andrew (Derricks photographer etc) are knocked overboard by the impact too. Andrew manages to survive as Crystal is torn to pieces by the fish, Derrick gets dragged aboard by Danni but he's already been badly eaten (his penis goes floating off) Then he dies.
They think they manage to kill the piranha by blowing up a boat with bait and lots of propane, as usual this isn't the end of the film there's a few more twists and turns first but it close.

Despite all the class A acting from very recognizable actors of the era I am not a fan of this I slightly enjoyed it first time watching (not going to beat around the bush there's a lot of nice sights in this for a younger man than myself). Recently re-watching it though its not aged well and doesn't hold torch to either 1978 or 1995 version. THN awards Piranha 3D with a 2 out of 5 stars but a low watch it if there's really nothing else to watch on 2.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Review: The Puppet Masters (1994)

Stars: Donald Sutherland, Julie Warner

Budget: Unknown

Directed By: Stuart Orme

An invasion of the body snatchers type romp penned by sci-fi author Robert A. Heinlein.

Donald Sutherland stars as Andrew Nivens a secret government agent. As always from a member of the Sutherland family there is brilliant acting on offer from the older member here. Effects are half decent and seem to mostly be practical and realistic, the alien parasites seem believable for the most part. It is however only comparable to invasion in that it's alien in origin and controls it's host.
These are just plain parasitic aliens that latch onto you and control your mind and body rather than replicating you replacing.
Eric Thal also stars as Nivens son and also secret agent Sam, also a pretty decent actor in his own right and works well with Donald. Though I'd rank him as second rate Keanu reeves, quite wooden. Julie Warner also stars as a NASA biologist Mary Sefton, who is the counterpart to Sutherland's gruff character.

As with a lot of authors works things get lost in rewrites and adaptation, the puppet masters is no stranger to that. With two writers one who wanted to stick to the book as much as possible and one told to adapt it to make a sellable story. The movie does start with a strong beginning where the aliens believably spread. When the group goes to check out the area they find out that aliens have indeed landed, they are slimy slug like creatures that resemble sting rays.
Latching onto a hosts back they take over your nervous system and control you like a puppet. This is hard to see at first but they are quick to anger especially when suspicion is pointed their way.
This is where it tends to break down and lose integrity, it has no agenda or message and just breaks down in mostly action.

After many people are infected they find some among the puppets who are still human. This inevitably leads to a way to beat them. I won't as usual spoil the ending as this is a half decent film, but if you haven't seen any of the invasion of the body snatchers films 50s, 70s, or 90s. Or even the thing, if you haven't then there's something wrong. Then go watch them first (yes I know there's another invasion film with Nicole Kidman but this is better than that one). If THN gave half stars we'd give this two and half. Unfortunately we don't and thanks to a lackluster second half where only some decent acting shines we give this film 2 out 5 but recommend a watch if you can (it's pretty rare).

Review: Army of Darkness (1992)

Stars: Bruce Campbell, Embeth Davidtz

Budget: $11.6 million

Directed By: Sam Raimi

The 3rd film in the franchise and by far my favorite if only for the amount of one liners that I have learned from the hallowed chin himself Bruce Campbell.

But no it doesn't end there as this had some of the most iconic scenes and one liners of the series too!
From evil mini Ash's to an evil doppelganger of the hero born from one of the mini Ash's To give me some sugar baby.
After a small recap and a slightly different beginning to the ending of the second film this film starts as it means to continue, totally epic!

Sucked into the time vortex meant to remove the evil from his time Ash is transported to a medieval time. Just in time to see Henry the Red and some of his men being captured by Arthur.
Despite clearly not looking like anything from their time, even his chainsaw hand and olds mobile crashing in with him, Arthur disbelieves the wise mans words that Ash could be the savior they need. Chained up he and Henry's men are forced by whips to walk to Arthur's castle.
Once there a woman named Sheila asks about her brother, he has unfortunately been killed by Henry's men. Seeing red she takes her anger out on the unlucky Ash, scratching him and pulling his hair. One by one the men are thrown into a pit where a deadite kills them (one tries to escape only to be crossbow bolted in the back by Arthur).

It quickly come around to Ash's turn, where he does his best to tell Arthur he doesn't even know Henry. Sheila throws a rock striking Ash in the head sending him stumbling and falling into the hole.
Holding his own against 2 deadites for a while the wise man throws Ash his chainsaw hand and our hero takes them both out with ease, much to the chagrin of Sheila and Arthur. Especially since he frees Henry's men in the process, Primitive screwheads.

Being treated like hero the wise man tells Ash that he can return to his own time, also save them, if he retrieves the Necronomic ex-mortis. Slightly against the idea Ash is swayed when Another deadite attacks and he starts to fall in love with Sheila. Gimme some sugar baby.
Creating a robotic hand from an armored glove to aid him Ash sets off to retrieve the book from an ancient graveyard. Along the way he is attacked by the speeding forest demon and finds refuge inside an old windmill. Inside a mirror holding reflection smashes releasing many tiny evil Ash's, they all terrorize him one or two getting killed in the process. That is until they knock Ash down and one of the little guys finds his way into Ash's stomach, despite everything the little fellow grows out of Ash into a full size evil version.
Goody little two shoes, goody little two shoes.
Until Ash point blanks his face with his trusty walnut stock cobalt blue steel double 12ga barrel shotgun. dismembering the clone and burying it the head warns him that he'll never reach the Necronomicon and will die trying.

Once in the graveyard Ash spots three books which the wise man said nothing about, trying to retrieve each one (though as a little nitpick here he doesn't try to recite the 'magic' words until the last one) they each do something to him. One flies about attacking him where as the other is like a small black-hole sucking him in temporarily, the last being the proper book.
Having been told the recite the words Klaatu Barada Nicto else he would release all evil onto the world Ash has a hard time remembering the last word. after a number of tries he settles with just coughing to cover the recital of the last word. Of course this doesn't work and evil does indeed pop forth. Skeletons rise from the grave, his evil clone escapes piecing himself back together and leads the army against the living.

Returning with the book the wise man can see there's a problem and Ash confesses to not saying the words properly. Arthur tells them to keep his word and send Ash back to his time after Ash refuses to help them. However a flying deadite comes and kidnaps Sheila, this forces Ash to once again become heroic. He teaches the people to use explosives, advanced fighting techniques and converts his car into a steam powered killing machine with a giant rotary blade on the front.
They even send word to Henry the red for help but does he show up?
That will be answered if you watch the film yourself as i'm not spoiling another scene especially the kick ass last fight scene of this film. For me at least this film is the pinnacle of the series and by far my favorite of the three 5 out of 5 stars!

Review: Bride of Chucky (1998)

Related imageStars: Brad Douriff, Jennifer Tilly

Budget: $25million

Directed By: Ronny Yu

After a 7 year hiatus he's back, the psycho doll with the bad mouth, this time he's got a friend in the shape of Tiffany his equally psychotic ex-girlfriend.
Gone is all tension by this stage its just gore, blood and shock horror in this sequel. Each death tries to out do the last and comedy is heavily added to increase tongue in cheek humor.

It is though a direct sequel to part 3, despite seven years in real time this takes place only a few months after the end of part 3. Tiffany, as stated, Is played by the the beautiful Jennifer Tilly, both is person and voice. Why voice? We'll get into that later.

There's no Andy Barclay in this movie, he won't return to the series for a while. This did reasonably well in the cinema doubling it's budget, which warranted a sequel In Seed of Chucky.

So Tiffany who is a murderous seductress (no wonder her and Charles got along so well) seduces a police officer to steal Chucky's remains for her. After killing the officer she stitches Chucky's remains back together (after his mutilation in the fan in 3) and attempts to see if his soul still inhabits the doll. Using the voodoo incantation Charles learnt her too she tries to bring him back from death.
It doesn't seem to work at first that is until Tiffany's current lover (played by the late Alexis Arquette) a soppy goth guy stops over and fornicates over her.

Chucky suddenly springs to life and ends up killing the poor terrified guy, much to Tiffany's glee. She's happy and also deluded over Charles, you see before he died all those years back her left a diamond ring with her. She's held it in her head that he always intended to marry her before he died.
This is the reason she went out of her way to find him and resurrect him.
Chucky wastes no time in bursting her bubble and telling her it was just a stolen ring. Which causes them to break out into a big argument, upset Tiffany ends up throwing Chucky in a playpen and locking him in there. She throws in a doll with a wedding dress in there to mock him as she goes off for a bath.

Chucky of course escapes from his makeshift prison and ends up killing Tiffany by dropping a plugged in TV into her bathtub while she's in there. As further punishment he transfers Tiffany's soul into the bride doll so she knows what he feels like.
Now Apparently Charles was buried with an amulet that can allow them to transfer their souls into anyone they want. Both have their eyes placed on Tiffany's next-door neighbor Jesse and his girlfriend. Jesse is eager to get away with his girlfriend Jade too, so when he gets a message from Tiffany to transport her two dolls to a collector in New Jersey for some money he jumps on the offer.

Just before they leave Jesse proposes to Jade, though unknown to him her overprotective police officer uncle has planted some drugs on Jesse. Tiffany and Chucky discover this and in an effort to stop him sabotaging their plans kill him with and elaborate airbag and nail set up.
While they are on their way to the destination they are pulled over by officer Norton who find the weed in their car. Chucky however causes Nortons car to explode when he goes back to it to report the crime. This causes both Jesse and Jade to start doubting each other (great relationship hey?) thinking that the other was the cause of the explosion (even though they both flee).

Even though they are worried about the other one they still go through with getting married when they stop over in hotel/chapel combo for the night. Jades uncle seems to miraculously still be alive, albeit with nails jammed in his face and tries to escape, only to this time properly be killed by Chucky. When some con artists fleece Jesse and Jade of their money Tiffany takes revenge on them in probably one of the films most iconic kills. She throws a champagne bottle up at the mirrored ceiling above their bed, this rains down razor sharp shards of glass onto the couple slicing them to bits. Impressing Chucky incredibly with her creativity he proposes to Tiffany and they have weird doll sex.

Jesse and Jades friend David meets them at the hotel, meanwhile a maid finds the two corpses of the con artists. David explains that both of them are suspects for all the murders that have happened since they've been on the run too, they finally believe each other, David almost does too.
That is until he finds Warrens corpse in their boot/trunk, Chucky and Tiffany break their rouse holding them all at gunpoint. David tries to get the attention of some police officers but it spread across the freeway by a big truck, horrified Jesse and Jade do what they want.
They make the two kid steal a mobile home and explain to them that they are going to use them as new vessels for their souls. Chucky takes being married very relaxed boasting about how great it is, especially as Tiffany is making him food. Noticing how dirty Chucky is Jesse remembers how Tiffany explained she wants the perfect man. He comments how lazy Chucky is and gets Jade to join in too, it seems to trick Tiffany into turning on Chucky.

The two end up fighting each other in the graveyard. I'll leave it there as that's near the end of the film and there's a few twists and turns at the end that are worth not having been spoiled. It's a great turn around on the series though a distant call from the horror of the first film. It's fun though and if you like the series definitely worth watching. THN awards Bride of Chucky 4 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Review: Piranhas (1995)

Image result for piranha movie 1995Stars: Mila Kunis, William Katt

Budget: Unknown

Directed By: Scott P. Levy

This is a Roger Corman remake of the 1978 version of Piranha, which itself was remade in 2010 with Piranha 3D.

When i first saw this film I did for a long time believe this to be the 'original version' of the film not knowing that this was indeed a remake of an even older movie. Strange as I'd also Piranha 2 before the 70's version and this thinking that, that was a sequel to this one!
I was however like 12 or 13 at the time and watching these on late night UK TV cable channels like sci-fi or bravo.
So i had recently gone back and watched the actual original version now. What I did notice and was actually confirmed through some further research is that this includes scenes from the original film for attacks and showing the piranha swimming around.

It follows basically the same story too, except in this instance I actually think the 1995 version is better in a lot of ways to the 78 version.
Namely actors and acting help this one run just a little smoother than the older one, quite possibly as with a lot of things this might just be because I seen this one first. This film also stars a young Mila Kunis in the role of the young daughter of the protagonist.

If you've read the original you'll know that two teens (Barbara and David in the remake) go to a disused military facility and thinking the big pool is just a cool place to have dip enter and get eaten by the ravenous modified fish. I mean even if it disused wouldn't you be scared of the stinky stagnant water that might hold untold chemical waste in it?
Well in this remake the same happens (with lots of 90's nudity) except instead of a debtor looking for them the teen girls uncle believing they she's run away, hires a private investigator to find her. Also played by female actor (Alexendra Paul) playing Maggie McNamara, yes that's the same first name of the 70's character too a nice touch there.
She goes snooping around and eventually stumbles upon Paul Grogan (exactly the same name as the 70's version) played by reasonably well known actor William Katt. They both find their way to the base and like the 70's version Maggie goes to drain the pool. A change here though as she's attacked by and fights off a female scientist this time, one Dr Leticia Baines (Darleen Carr) unfortunately too late once again and the killer fish are flushed out into a nearby river. Pretty much the same deaths happen on the river too.

Exactly the same thing happens they find bones at the bottom of the tank, Baines steals their vehicle but crashes due to passing out and they go back to Paul's. Later on Baines wakes up and tells them what idiots they've been releasing the deadly creations into the wild. Fearful for his daughter (Susie) this film cuts out a lot of chaff and Paul goes straight to the place to try and get the camp shut down.
They don't believe him and the owner, Randolph gets them arrested for causing commotion.
Like the original they escape custody and then go to warn people, however the piranha have already made their way to the camp and start attacking.
Susie (Kunis) sets out on a raft to save her friends she saves one but the other falls in and is killed by the fish. Maggie and Paul make it to the camp and Paul saves his daughter and some more kids. Randolph actually see's the carnage now and very sorrowful he didn't heed the warning.

Paul now knowing that Susie is safe takes him and Maggie up river to where he used to work, once again a factory that used to have toxic chemicals stored in it. As with the original Paul has to swim down to a submerged office to attempt to release these toxins into the water supply.
He asks Maggie to count to 200 and pull him back up as he goes diving down, Paul is attacked by the piranha as he's attempting to release the poison, he does manage it but the movie doesn't end there and I won't spoil anymore.
This version does however take a little more of a darker turn at the ending than the original does, so what do I think of it?
On recent reviewing of it , appreciate a lot of the military chaff cut from the original to this version while still keeping most of the story elements almost exactly the same, the 89 minutes of this version to the 70's 95 minutes feels more trimmed for the better too. with better acting overall too, the practical effects though are actually slightly worse!!!
Ass mentioned a few of the same piranha attacking scenes are pulled right from the original version, though Roger did have input on this version too. We have one more version to check out in the future before moving to sequels (of which this one did not receive a piranha 2).
THN awards Piranha 1995 a low 3 out of 5 stars with a recommendation to watch both this and the original and decide for yourself which is best!

Monday, 24 September 2018

Review: Piranha (1978)

Stars: Bradford Dillman, Heather Menzies-Urich

Budget: $600,000

Directed By: Joe Dante

An original film I did not know existed until years after seeing what I thought was the original. I had initially seen the 1995 version of piranha on the sci-fi channel when I was younger thinking that was the original.

It was only years later that I found out this older version existed and that piranha 2 was the sequel to this one. Which you can tell just by the aged look of them, but i was young and it was on Bravo late one night lol.

So anyway lets get on with the actual movie, effects wise there's some decent practical effects for its time period. The what seems as constant use of the same jaws like following of the fish can get a bit jarring from time to time though.

So two teenagers typical of the time period stumble across a military base that's disused. Coming across a massive swimming pool of sorts they, as you do, decide to go for a dip, surely that water would be stinky and stagnant by now. They are of course eaten by the unseen thing that live in the pool.
A little while later a woman tasked with looking for the teens comes to the town named lost river lake to look for the teens. Maggie doesn't find much help other than from Paul Grogan, drunkard to take her looking for the kids.
They come upon the compound too which they learn was some kind of military fish hatchery, deciding to drain the main pool she goes looking for the switch. Inside they find many strange experiments in jars before coming across the drainage controls. A guy tries to stop her warning her, Paul knocks him out though then stupidly Maggie drains the pool unknowingly releasing the piranha into a local river.
They find some stripped skeletons in the bottom of the pool but the knocked out guy comes to and tries to steal Paul's jeep, which he fails to thanks to his groggy state. Paul takes Maggie and the guy back to his house for the night.

Down the river however we see a guy trying to fish, hes sat at the end of a jetty danging his legs over with his pet dog. His legs get stripped of flesh and he tries to escape. Later Paul, Maggie and (as we find out later) Dr Robert Hoak take a raft downstream. They find Paul's friend Jake and his dog, the latter who has bled out thanks to his wounds. The Dr explains he was working on Vietnam weapons and that the facility was working on weaponised Piranha capable of living in salt water and Maggie has now released them into the wild.
They quickly come to the realisation that if the local dam is opened it will allow the piranha to escape into the wider world which would be quite a bad thing for the ecosystem and people. Not only that before then is the children's lost river water park where Paul's daughter is at.
Further down the river they find a poor boy who's father has fallen into the river and been eaten, he's trapped on a capsized canoe. Hoak attempts to rescue the boy but in doing so gets mortally wounded by the fish in the process. In his dying breath he tries to tell them how to kill the piranha but dies before he can, however incensed by Hoak's blood in the water the piranha start attacking the raft loosening the rafts bindings. They make it to the shore just as the raft completely falls apart.

They stop the dam from being opened and decide to call the military for help, this ends up being a bad idea as the military wants to keep this hush, hush and deal with it quietly. They send in Dr Mengers, who we learn later was once involved with Hoak in a relationship. She tries to deny the existence of the fish and detains them in an effort to stop them blabbering.
They also realise that a small inlet allows the fish to travel to a nearby newly opened camping ground where Paul's daughter is actually at. They get away and attempt to make their way to the camp ground but Mengers reports them to the police to detain them if they are seen.
Even though Paul manages to contact the camp counselor, he doesn't believe him due him being known as an alcoholic. They are then caught and arrested but manage to escape a little later stealing the cops squad car.

Paul's daughter who actually afraid of the water watches in terror as the piranhas start to attack the camp, killing many kids and adults in the process. Despite her fear she manages to get a dinghy out and attempts to rescue some her friends. One of them however falls back in and gets devoured by the fish, despite arriving late Paul is happy to see that his daughter is fine.
they try to contact the water park but Mengers has beaten them there and advises the park owner not to answer the phone. Using the cop car they make their way there, on the way Paul remembers that there's an old industrial plant that has gallons of waste in tanks that he hopes may poison the fish and kill them before they reach open water (remembering these piranha can live in salt water).
While they decide to head towards the plant the piranha attack the water park and kill many many people, including Mengers superior.

When Paul and Maggie reach the facility they see that the control room to flush out the tanks has been submerged in water. He ties some rope to his waist then telling Maggie to pull him back up at the count of 100 he dives down to the controls.
The wheel is however very rusty and takes a lot of effort to move, not only that as he starts to move it the piranha show up. I wont spoil anymore as this is actually quite an intense ending, possibly one of Roger Coormans best films ever, in my views. It's a fun watch and definitely worth your time especially if you like tense jaws like action.
THN awards Piranha 1978 a strong 3 out of 5 stars and recommendation to watch.

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Review: eXistenZ (1999)

Related imageStars: Jude Law, Jennifer Jason Leigh

Budget: $31 million (CAD)

Directed By: David Cronenberg

A late entry into the video games are evil and will turn you into a weird killer franchise. It's also a play on body horror as well such as Videodrome.
Videodrome also being a play on how bad video nasty films were getting bad back then too. I'll probably review it at some point.

An early film for Jude Law too, riding on from Gataca thinking this would be a big hit, it was quite a flop in the cinemas at the time though just like Gataca.
They both have like a lot of films gathered a reasonable cult following now on home video. Possibly due to the odd nature of the film just entertaining for what it is.

Also staring strong female actress Jennifer Jason Leigh in her late thirties (though she looks no where near that in here and still looks great these days). She'd been acting for many years prior also staring in 1986 original version of the hitcher with Rutger Hauer. This is not an easy film to review by far, with all the oddness and changes it goes through can be a little hard to put into words. But i'm going to try!

In what seems to be a futuristic world where biotechnology has overtaken normal technology a new 'games console' is being released to the market. A test group are trying it out, Allegra Geller (introduced by non other than a young face Christopher Eccleston) a bit of a recluse and the console maker is there to show it off. These new consoles plug directly into your spine via a weird umbilical cord thing and bio-port. The bio-port you get implanted into yourself to be able to play these games.
Some people aren't totally into these new bio-consoles or bio-ports and see them as some kind of a travesty, to the point where some people want to assassinate Allegra. These are called realists and one tries to kill her while she is showing of eXistenZ, little e big X, as it's described in film.
Pikul (Law) manages to save her and they go on the run together, unfortunately her bio-console was damaged in the attack. It holds the only copy of the game on its drives and to be able to test out if it's still okay Allegra needs to port with someone.

She discovers Pikul has no port and they go see an illegal port installer (Willem Dafoe) called Gas, Pikul professing he's not an extremist but just never believed in 'violating' himself like that agrees to have one installed. Unknown to them both the port installed is a faulty one and hurts the console even further. Gas attempts to kill Geller but Pikul once again saves her life.
This time they go to a ski lodge to see Geller's ex mentor (played by Ian Holm) who helps her repair the console and install a fresh port good into Pikul.

This is where the film starts to get even weirder an may lose some people now. They manage to get into the game where things get odd, some dead people are in there as different characters and others are simple npc's. what makes it weirder is in the game they further enter the game by jacking mini bio-consoles into their bio-ports. So much so you don't know whats game and what isn't, just for sanity sake it's all game now lol.
So going 'further' into the game they get mundane jobs 'undercover' in a pod making factory seems they are made (in this reality) from bits of other mutated animals. They are met by a person who says that they are their undercover agent in the factory. Pikul is told to order the special in the restaurant, it's an assortment of disgusting looking items. As he eats it however the bones seem to makes up the signature bone 'gun' from earlier and the movie poster. He mock threatens Allegra but then for some reason blows away the Chinese waiter. They find out after this that the original guy they spoke to was a double agent and the waiter was their real contact.

Finding a diseased pod back at the factory Allegra seemingly overtaken by the game tries to infect all the other pods with it. It makes her ill though and Pikul attempts to save her by cutting her cord, this unfortunately leads to her bleed out. The double agent returns and douses the diseased pod with a flamethrower which bursts into diseased spores.
Awaking back at the ski lodge they realise the main pod has been infected, Allegra believes it was trying to tell them subconsciously it was in trouble. It seems Vinokur (Holm) was also a double agent working for cortical systematic's. This is where it gets really annoying now, everyone turns on everyone as some kind of double agent of some kind, I wont spoil the main ending but it's a twist that worked back in the day but i think won't fool many these days.

So eXistnZ, it's worth watching, its a bit of a mind fuck for the last two thirds to half of the film which may or may not either lose you, piss you off or entertain you. THN fell into the entertain segment back in the day when we first watched it, we now fall into a more of a 'Meh' so with that we do give it only a 2 out of 5 but with a recommendation to watch if you can, i'd like to see your thoughts on it.

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Review: Child's Play 3 (1991)

Childsplay3.jpgStars: Justin Whalin, Brad Douriff

Budget: $13 million

Directed By: Jack Bender

Third film in the childs play/Chucky series, we see the films evolving like Nightmare on elm street from more horror based to slaptick gore fests, gone are the Chucky level cameras and late reveal of the killer.
We all know who the star of the show is and we want to see him take out as many chumps as he can before his innevitable defeat at the hands of the films chosen heroes.
As this franchise would have it, it once again falls on the shoulders of Andy Barclay, now played by Justin Whalin, showing the older Barclay in the few years between movies.

Based a good number of years after the last film, we finally see the toy company responsible for making the good guy dolls starting to recover from it's financial loses over the bad publicity of 'Chucky'.
Deciding to reintroduce the Good Guy Dolls they re-open the factory where Chucky was last killed. Throwing in what they think is just waste plastics into the mixing vat, it is infact the remains of Chucky. His blood mixes in with the plastic and he is reborn in a new body.
The first new doll of the assembly line, he given to the company CEO who he quickly dispatches with a variety of other toys. He finds the location of Andy and mails himself to him.

Andy has joined a military school as he's been trouble in numerous homes, he is clearly still troubled from his past fights with Chucky. He quickly makes friends with some other cadets with his defiance of the bullying techniques they try to press on them.
Kristin, Harold and Ronald. He quickly falls Kristin, Ronald is a young boy and runs errands for people around the campus. He is tasked with taking a package to Andy (Chucky inside). When he discovers the contents are a good guy doll he keeps it for himself.
Hiding in the lower reaches of the campus he goes to open the package when it burst open revealing Charles ready to get back at Andy. Realising he has a new body and that he can now tell his secret to a new person, reveals it to Ronald in hopes he can possess this new kid with his soul.

They are interrupted mid possession by the campus owner colonel Cochran, he ends up throwing Chucky in the rubbish chute, he then ends up in a garbage truck but ends up killing the driver when he thinks someone is trapped in there. Stupidly that night Chucky reveals himself to Andy and his entire plan, before he can kill Andy though The bully Shelton busts in. He takes Chucky for himself back to his room, Andy unsuccessfully attempts to steal the doll back that night and ends up getting caught by Shelton.
Chucky has however left of his own volition and Shelton accuses Andy of theft and much to the chagrin of everyone forces the rest of the cadets to get up and exercise.

Chucky tries many times to possess Ronald but fails or gets stopped every time by something. In all this time he also kills a number of the camps other staff such as the barber and attempts to kill Cochran but comically he naturally dies of a heart attack upon seeing him.
When the camps annual war games are announced Chucky switches the fake ammo with live munitions. split into two teams they fight against each other, Chucky takes this opportunity to try and possess Ronald again. This time Ronald realises that he's bad, back outside some of the kids have accidentally shot each other. Andy's friend selflessly throws himself onto a live grenade to save the others around him too.
Finally Andy and Kirstin go to help Ronald. I'll leave the explanations there, part 3 is still a very strong addition to the series and well worth watching. THN awards Child Play 3 a strong 3 out of 5 stars and recommendation to watch.

Saturday, 4 August 2018

THN Exclusive: Upcoming Giallo/Murder Mystery Film 2019

THN, good friends of production company Decades Apart Prod. Have been given some insider information into a new Giallo film they have in production slated for a 2019 release window. DAP work with ultra low budgets yet produce some of the best work I've seen on so little.
Most companies even traditional 'low budget' studios still have in the tens or hundreds of thousands to make a movie. Not DAP this film is apparently being made with the fantastically low target amount of $6000!

The title they're going with at the moment is: Silver Stars on Red Velvet. IMDb link:
It will star:

Laura Sharlotte as Madelyne
Image result for laura sharlotte
Max Caudell as Alexander de Toth
Max Caudell

These two actors who must be brave as Decades Apart is touting that 23 actors have already walked away shocked with the project (in a bad, kind of good way), spooky!
It's a murder mystery and without giving to many details Madelyne is Alex's girlfriend, Alex works as a photographer and they get mixed up in some trouble...

Typical to this kind of budget the effects will all be practical and low cost, but again by their last standards it should look good for the budget they have.
They are filming in eau Clare WI and St. Paul MN they are looking for somewhere in the region of a 90 minute run time, reasonably good length for any film to tell a decent story.
THN can't wait to get their mitts on this it all sounds so exciting especially since we know a bit more about the film  than we can let on at the moment!!!
2019 can't come quick enough...

Monday, 23 July 2018

THN Stuff: Horror Anthologies

One of my favourite types of horror film are Anthologies, especially if the stories are linked in some way. As in same world, same neighborhood or like creepshow for example have some in-between narrative.
In more recent years the anthology seems to have taken a back seat amongst horror film makers. There's still some Indies and low budget guys who push one out now and then but there's been nothing big as such.
I know Anthologies have never been a massive seller movie wise but I'd hate to see them drop off completely here's a list I've made of most of the ones I've seen or still have to see, how many have you seen?


Trilogy of Terror (1975)
Tales from the Crypt (1972)
Asylum (1972)
From Beyond the Grave (1974)
Vault of Horror (1973)
The House that Dripped Blood (1971)
The Uncanny (1977)
Dead of Night (1977)


Cat's Eye (1985)
Creepshow (1982)
Creepshow 2 (1987)
After Midnight (1989)
Nightmares (1983)
Night Train to Terror (1985)
Deadtime Stories (1986)


Tales from the Darkside (1990)
H.P.Lovecraft's: Necronomicon (1993)
Two Evil Eye's (1990)
Quicksilver Highway (1997)
Twists of Terror (1997)
Body Bags (1993)
With Friends Like These (1991)


Trick r' Treat (2007)
Hood of Horror (2006)
Creepshow 3 (2006)
Fear[s] of the Dark (2007)
Nitetales (2008)
Terror Tract (2000)

2010-20s (so far)

V/H/S (2012)
V/H/S 2 (2013)
V/H/S Viral (2014)
The ABCs of Death (2012)
The ABC's of Death 2 (2014)
The Dark Tapes (2016)
XX (2017)

Friday, 20 July 2018

Review: Brainscan (1994)

Stars: Edward Furlong, Frank Langella

Budget: unknown ATM

Directed By: John Flynn

Eddie, Eddie, Eddie, Mr Furlong still fresh from his T2 debut stared in this video game based thriller/horror not long after.
the mid to late 90's tried to start a fear of gaming, it was getting to real!!
more and more violent game were being released and some people weren't happy with it. Hence we had a slew of films that tried to put the fear of what this evolution of gaming would do to us.
From this to, lawnmower man and existenz, plus many others that I may cover in the future. Lets get on with the review shall we.

We see old Eddie Furlong playing Micheal a boy in a fevered dream. He's dreaming about the night he and his mother apparently crashed and his resulting leg surgery. Though played on a lot, as in we see him limping from place to place its never a major factor in the films plot at all. We quickly see Micheal has a somewhat creepy crush on his next-door neighbor, a girl named Kimberly (played the absolutely lovely Amy Hargreaves). Creepy in that her massive bedroom window is directly across from his and she seems to frequently get nude in front of it, which Micheal films on his camcorder. though it's later shown she knows and even takes pictures of him!

Micheal is it seems is a techie into gaming and horror films. He even runs a horror movie club in school, though that is quickly shut down by the schools principal (at least I think he is) who is very dickish about it all. Micheal has one friend, Kyle who also seems to be a bit of down and out loser like him. Kyle informs Micheal about a new interactive game that's been released called brainscan that literally submerses you into it's game world (there's your get out of jail free card right there).

How is Micheal able to do/get away with all this?
His father is not at home, though this just says he's working hard to keep his home and son in some semblance of normal, a good dad in my books. Micheal sends away for the game and it quickly comes in the post. Playing it right away it seems like Micheal has taken on the role of a serial killer, he quickly dispatches his target and even takes the guys foot as a trophy!

Micheal wakes and thinks he's played a really realistic game, the next day he's horrified to find that the guy he murdered is plastered all over the news. Frank Langella plays an over bearing police officer who quickly suspects Micheal as he keeps showing up or is involved some way to each murder. Micheal finds the foot in the freezer and goes to bury it in the woods to hide the evidence. Kyle tries to get Micheal to let him play the game, being a dick about but just because he cares about Kyle he rebuffs him, though he takes it the wrong way.

Later in Micheal's room an embodiment of the games npc erupts from Micheal's TV as the Trickster, a weird looking guy with stretched features and a shock of red hair. He tells Micheal he must play the second disc of the game as there's a witness to the first murder and if he doesn't kill them too he'll surely go to jail. Micheal is willing to do the right thing but tries to get evidence to show that it's him doing the killings. Playing the second disc he awakes pretty much the same as he did the first time except this time he doesn't know who he's killed.
Checking the freezer he see's Kyles necklace in there, distraught he rings his friends house. The phone is answered by the police officer who listens to Micheal scream down the phone asking if Kyle's alright. When the officer answers asking who it is Micheal quickly hangs up the phone. The Trickster appears again and Micheal berates him for having him kill his best friend, the Trickster with no feelings tells him it was necessary but that he's messed up again. This time leaving footprints at the scene of the crime, Micheal agrees to play the 3rd disc only if he doesn't kill anyone. The Trickster just says to do as he wants so long as he does it in the allotted time.

Covering the tracks the Trickster phones the house where a forensics guy is doing some work and tells him that Micheal's out in the garden tampering with evidence. He gets away with the officer in chase (yes with his bad knee).
Unknown to Micheal Frank's officer has ordered a sweep of the neighborhood with some neighborhood watch members, who he specifically tells not to go armed. They do of course grab guns. Micheal manages to hide after killing the principal (?) under a ton of bricks.
The forensics guy shows up at the exact moment he's about to caught but as he's wielding gun one of the zealous watch people blows him away. This give Micheal much needed time to escape the scene.
Now earlier after Kyle's death The police officer came to Micheal's to question him and noticed the fire had been lit (Micheal had destroyed his bloody clothes from the first murder by burning them). He returns later breaks in and takes some ashes for the forensics team.

Micheal is falling further down the rabbit hole and has also fallen out with Kimberly after she says how much of a friend he was, when she hardly knew him. The forensics come back that there were trace amounts of blood of the first man killed in the ashes too. The Trickster tells Micheal there's just one more murder to perform, Kimberly, it takes some persuading but he agrees.
When it comes to it though especially when Kimberly tells Micheal how much she's secretly loved him too. Micheal cannot kill her, Unfortunately Hayden (the cop) bursts in see's Micheal with a weapon and quickly blows him away without a warning.

I won't spoil anymore though I think it's guessable at what happens next, but there's a few things after the fact that are quite funny too, one involving the Principal...
Over all it's a decent movie, it's nothing that'll get your brain juices flowing but if there's nothing else on i'd give it a go, even if it's just see Eddie Furlong at his screeching best before he takes the great gutter dive that is his carrier choices.
THN awards Brainscan a mediocre 3 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Review: Child's Play 2 (1990)

Childsplay2.jpgStars: Brad Dourif, Alex Vincent

Budget: $13 Million

Directed By: John Lafia

The good thing about this one is it starts off not long after the last one and we see just how Chucky manages to come back from the dead too.

I mean how serious can you take a possessed wise talking small murderous doll right?
But from this one onward the humor starts to increase, in both kills, one liners and just overall acting.
I personally don't mind this at all but i know it's a reason for dissension among some fans, though it's no where near as much of a turn as bride of chucky did comedic wise.

A larger budget meant more special effects and better ones at that. This also meant you see a lot more of Chucky throughout the series from this film on, no longer just shoes under the bed or scampering feet sounds. No now thanks to a massively popular first film people though the audience wanted to see more of the puppet. Some would say this even detracts from it's horror somewhat, I disagree with this we are introduced to him in the first film we know who he is just get on with it this time. Which this film does nicely.

Two years after the incident where Andy, his mother and the detective managed to stop the good guy doll possessed by the soul of killer Charles Lee Ray the company decides to reintroduce the toy after losing sales. Now that Andy's mother is in a mental hospital and Andy himself fostered out for them both sticking to the story the company see's it as the prime time.
They even take the 'Chucky' doll and remake him too just to show how confident they are. While remaking him one of the factory workers is killed in a freak accident which they cover up. The Chucky doll is to be disposed of too.

Andy at this time has been adopted by Phil and Joanne Simpson who also have another kid under their care Kyle an older ex delinquent girl. Matteson the guy charged with getting rid of Chucky is killed after going into a shop, Charles has also found out where Andy is staying by ringing the foster homing place as a relative.
Reaching Andy's new house Chucky accidentally sets of another good guy doll that they used to try and break Andy out of it, Chucky caves in it's head with an ornament breaking it in the process. After burying the other toy Chucky takes it's place. Phil blames the kids for the destruction of the ornament and when they don't own up to it both are grounded.

Chucky in the night almost possesses Andy but is stopped when Kyle comes in from being out, Phil captures them both awake and Kyle being out past curfew. Saying he'll deal them in the morning he throws Chucky into the basement and goes back to bed.
The next day Chucky follows Andy to school, causing all sorts of mischief and gets Andy told off that he has to stay behind. Killing Andy's teacher with a yard stick, the kid just manages to escape in time.

Back at their home Andy goes to attack Chucky with an electric bread knife, Phil catches him in the act thinking Andy is quite bananas. Chucky attacks Phil making him fall down the stairs breaking his neck in the process. Joanne is convinced Andy had something to do with her husbands death sends him back to the foster centre.
Kyle however finds the broken good guy doll under the swing set and believes Andy. Chucky has killed Joanne however, capturing her Chucky makes Kyle take him to the foster centre where Andy is being held. Setting off a fire alarm Andy manages to escape with Kyle catching a glimpse of them as he does.

Before long they all end up at the good guy factory for one final showdown where Chucky manages to complete the ritual. Unfortunately it doesn't work as he's been in the dolls body for to long by now, enraged Chucky tries to kill both Kyle and Andy.
I'll leave it there as Child's Play 2 is well worth a watch a formidable sequel to a great first part in a long line of films to come, THN awards this 4 out of 5 stars.

Saturday, 30 June 2018

THN Top 5: Most Wanted Reboots/Sequels

With the upcoming new Halloween, that's a Reboot, Sequel and Remake all in one film us here at THN have decided to throw our minds to what we'd like to see next and in what form they might choose to be their destroyer, or redeemer.
It'll be horror franchises of course those things I can't get enough of, be them bad good or mediocre i'll invest time into something that give me a series of films to watch.

So in at number 5:

Nightmare on Elm Street Series:
Freddy Krueger has already had a shot at remake, just like Jason did except his outing was an abysmal failure. Not that Jackie Earl Hailey is to blame he did everything he could with the shitty script, so this I think falls into reboot territory. As much as I'd like to see Robert England reprise the role he is unfortunately getting on a bit now at 71.
Not that I don't think he could do it mind, the prosthetic pieces and make up cover a lot of sins after all. I just think that this would do well with new blood now and some creative writing, unlike the latest reboot though a slight tongue in cheek aspect has to be kept by Freddy in order to keep it feeling authentic.
One last hurrah by England might be a foray into Freddy vs Jason 2 perhaps?

At No4:

Leprechaun Series:
Another one that's had a semi reboot already but not in the same vein as NoES, is Leprechaun. Though I think the newer film is not part of the series as proper. It's also serious, well more serious than the main films. I think a proper sequel bringing this film back to it's stolen gold roots more (like 1-3) would be fine. Warwick Davies I think would be fine to return for one more outing as the wee green fellow too.

At No3:

Hellraiser Series:
The abysmal continuations of this series need to stop without Doug Bradley in them. Write a god damned good script that Doug wants to do and try to finish it off with a flair. He said he'd come back if the story was good and he was allowed to read it first, except people keep writing sub-par sequels that they wont show him unless he agrees to star.
since part 4 we have sequels that do not centre around the box or even the cenobytes, they are pretty much subplots added to a terrible film. The last 2 didn't even star Doug for the aforementioned reasons. Get it right and get Doug back!

At No2

Friday the 13th Series:
This is and odd one, i'd like to see both a sequel to Jason x and to the reboot, then whichever one impresses me the most is where i'd like to see the series stick too. Kane Hodder could come back as Jason in Ft13th pt11 and Derrick Mears in reboot Ft13th part 2.
As most will know i kind of regard the 2009 film as a quasi sequel anyway, it feels more like more of Jason than a reboot, like an earlier untold story. Whatever comes about it might be a while due to the court case and I hope they don't go with the Elias Vorhees rubbish i'd heard about before they canned the last film.

At No1

Childs Play/Chucky Series:
Ok this is another one where I think a good remake/reboot of the original would be nice to see, also I want to see this last I was a fan of the last film but with the whole multiple soul division thing going on now, I think one more to finish it off proper is on the cards as I think they've played out all possible avenues now.
A Reboot/Remake would allow them to back to the roots and make it scary again, like the first one was, where you didn't much of Chucky until the end of the film.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Review: Troll 2 (1990)

Image result for troll 2Stars: Micheal Stephenson, George Hardy

Budget: Unknown

Directed by: Claudio Fragasso

God lord what can i say that hasn't already
been said about this film. It's bad, worse than
bad, it's a train wreck. But it's so much of a
mixed up crazy ride into mindlessness
that it comes out the other side.
This film despite being bad is everything that
needs to be seen to understand what truly makes
a bad movie.
From incoherent storylines, bad acting/effects and
poor editing this film has it all. Even one of the most
gif'd scenes ever (which is probably how a lot of
people know about this film).
You all know the one, OH MY GOOOOOOOOOD
while a fly crawls about on his face. The costume designer was Laura Gemser of the black Emanuele series, it's just odd through and through.

A non sequel to the older fantasy film Troll (where some people think J.K.Rowling got her ideas for Harry Potter)
This was originally called goblin. Reinforced by the fact that the town the family go to in called Nilbog (goblin backwards). So a family arrange for a lifestyle swap with another family so the husband can see what rural living/working is like. Strangely the son of the family is visited by his dead grandpa the night before warning of the vegetarian goblins that infest Nilbog.
Yeah Vegetarian, we'll get into that more soon. So they do a kind of house swap with a family from Nilbog and they move there for a month. Unbeknownst to them the whole town are vicious little goblins in disguise, the only thing is they are vegetarian and can't eat meat as it's a sin. Not the worry they have a serum/poison that can turn you into vegetables, yeah that's right.

There really isn't much left to say about this but one scene where the boy stops his family from eating by urinating all over the food! That's about it for this bland piece of crap film apart from if you want a truly brain melting, yet at times hilariously bad film to waste your time on give it a go, if you dare.

THN awards Troll 2 a 0 out of 5 stars, BUT even though it's a god awful film it's definitely worth 1 watch, or not.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Review: It Follows (2014/2015)

Image result for it followsStars: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist

Budget: $2million

Directed By: David Robert Mitchell

It follows release dates are like this as the film was released in the Cannes film festival in 2014 then had a major full commercial release in 2015.

A play on sexual transmitted diseases which are still a big problem in our day and age, this film follows the dangers of unprotected sex by passing something deadly on. Instead of a harmless yeast infection or life threatening immunodeficiency disease though, this happens to be a supernatural entity that follows you to the ends of the earth through any obstacles just to kill you for knocking boots.

featuring some class acting and a very original story-line this movie certainly deserves most of the praise it received. I mean certain internet sites have explained how you could evade this entity. its still scary to think that this thing (whatever it is, it's never properly explained) can just keep coming for you despite how many shut doors and distance you put between yourself and it. It's also funny how many people have put up ways you could avoid this monster or even stop it, see it's not super fast or really really strong either it just keeps walking after you forever until it catches you.

So after a seemingly okay date with a boy called Hugh, Jaime is a bit surprised when he seems to get antsy in the cinema/theater over a girl she says she can't see. Despite that they go on a second date but Hugh ends up chloroforming her after they have sex in his car. He explains to her while she's tied to wheelchair that now they've had sex an entity only she can see will pursue her forever until it kills her, it was the only way to stop it killing him (though after it's killed her it'll then go back to being after him) Hugh drives Jay home after they see a weird naked woman and then rapidly leaves
When she goes to the police the next day she finds out Hugh wasn't really Hugh and was living under a false identity. With no leads on where he went or who the woman is Jay goes back to school distraught, she see's an old woman walking towards her that no one else can see. Despite it all sounding bonkers Jay's older sister and some friends agree to help her avoid this entity.
Despite this the thing nearly ends up killing her as she's the only one who can see it, it ends up following one the friends in. Jay flees and they all end up at a playground.

Trying to work out what to do they go to Gregg their neighbor who helps them find out where and who Hugh really is. His real name is Jeff and they trace him back to his real address. When they catch up with him he's surprised but explains that he was duped pretty much the same way after a one night stand, he explains that she can pass it on the same way. Either that or just keep trying to outrun it forever, Greg offers they go his nearby family lake house.
There Greg teaches Jay to shoot a gun, unfortunately the thing arrives again and starts attacking them all. Jay shoots it and then escapes in Greg's car only to crash it slightly down the road and pass out. Awaking in hospital with a broken arm.

Strangely Greg has sex with Jay at the hospital, being that he doesn't really believe in the entity still. Later it takes on Greg's form and enters his house Jay see's this and tries to ring him to warn him, unfortunately the entity attacks Greg in the guise of his own mother in a disturbingly sexy way. Jay flees to the beach and while there see's 3 men out on a boat, we see her undress and walk into the water. Implying that she's going to have sex with them. Paul one her friend also offers to have sex with her but she refuses him.
They do try to come up with a plan to kill the entity. Using herself as bait Jay intend to stand in a pool waiting for it to come after her then drop a load of electrical devices into the pool hopefully frying it. I'm not going to say how it goes as it's near the end of the movie, one thing i will say is that Jay does end sleeping with Paul too.

Overall this isn't a bad movie and there's been talks about a sequel for quite a while too, as a stand alone film it works and if done right i'd like to see more of this monster is and where it came from and why, although there's the old trope of knowing to much can spoil it. Lets just leave this at an interesting story on the dangers of STD's. THN awards IT Follows 3 stars out of 5

Monday, 4 June 2018

THN Top 5: Brains for Lunch

One of the things that seriously grosses me out in horror films, or pretty much any film that includes it is the eating of brains. Zombie chow, cannibal, alien food. If it involves your brain being main course it is certainly cringe worthy for me.
Why? Because it's the thought of you being alive while it happens that's icks me out so much. You can feel bits of you just vanishing as your precious grey organ of life is slowly, or rapidly munched away. So without further ado let's get on with my top 5 brain munched moments. Beware for spoilers for Bad Taste, Hannibal, RotLD 2 and starship troopers.

5. Bad Taste:
This is pretty much an honourable mention as its no longer a cringe for me but it was when I was younger. Having had half his head sliced off we see an alien has become a snack for one of his former comrades. Digging in a spoon like he's eating a tub of ice-cream.

4. Bad Taste Again:
Unlike the last one still makes me a little bit eew depending what mood I'm in. Having taken a dive off a cliff and presumed dead, Derrick miraculously survives but not without now having a skull flap in the back of his head that routinely opens to allow bits of his brain to fall out willy nilly. Permanently losing some later on he replaces bits with some of the aliens brains he butchers! Not really eating but he does a good sniff like his going to take a bite!

3. Return of the Living Dead pt2:
After she is saved (well until they're nuked) in the first film Thom Mathews girlfriend in the second film (in another comedic retelling of the duo) manages to escape his clutches a number of times. Only to eventually give up and let him chow down on her 'spicey' brains, complete with crunching apple like noises!

2. Hannibal:
This almost made number 1 spot when Clarisse catches up to cannibal Lecter he has trapped another agent in a chair. Having amazing knowledge of how to dissect a human from years of practice etc, he has removed the top of the guys head. He's still alive but a bit of a vegetable at this point. He then proceeds to remove parts of the guys brain cook them up while the guy says 'something smells nice' to top it all off later he's on a plane and some kid next to him asks what he's eating, he offers the kid some!

1. Starship Troopers:
You know it I mention it a lot, it's the brain bug, it's the guy having his brain sucked out through a proverbial straw, enough said I think. CRINGE!!!!!

Thursday, 24 May 2018

THN News: Everything we know so far about IT Chapter 2

Most of the cast has been finalised now, some of them not what i expected or what i would have preferred. but considering how good part 1 was I trust in them to make a good part 2. unlike most films the part 2 of this book even in the old Tim Curry version was just as if not stronger than the first part. First off then lets look at the cast.
So lets jump 27 years into the future and see who is cast as who!

                                                      Bill Skarsgard:
Returns as the evil clown Pennywise, did a great job in the first part, i believe in him to pull off a great second part and scare the adults just as well as he did in the original.

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Jessica Chastain:
Wasn't my first choice as an adult Beverly, I think Amy Adams would have been better in this role but who am i to go against real casting people! I hope she can pull off the love triangle well, as well as the hate that still festers for her father. I'm not a fan of her acting but only time will tell
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James Ransone:
Not really sure who this guy is, opnly joking, he stars in sinister 1 and 2 though not a massive fan of his work either he plays an older Eddie Kaspbrack.
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James McAvoy:
This popular actor from everything from Xmen to wanted is playing an older Bill Denbrough, McAvoy has yet incredibly disappoint me in any role I've seen him in.

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Jay Ryan:
Is an australian actor who has mostly been in series things, a relatively unknown has been recently cast as Ben Hanscom

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Bill Hader:
Stand up comedian, popular voice actor and seemingly good choice to play an aged Richie Tozier, who is a joker in his older life. Good casting here I think.
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Andy Bean:
The most tragic of the losers club Andy has been cast as Stanley Uris, Andy is another one that's a relatively unknown though we know its not a big part for the older Stanley we should see if he can the fear off well in the scenes he does have.
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Of course some if not all of the child actors will return for some flashbacks during the second chapter. Finn Wolfhard etc, with a slated release date of 2019 we wonder how old these kids would look by then, though i'm sure Finn will still be pumping out stranger things too!
All in all i'm looking forwards to this despite some of my casting woes if the first chapter managed to draw me in that well i trust the second will do just as good what are your thoughts?

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Short Film Review: Family Game Night (2018)

Director: Nicholas Ferwerda

Budget: $4000

Stars: Meredith Heinrich, Brad Linton

I was contacted like I usually am through twitter if I would like to watch a short film, Nicholas intends for this to show case his comedy horror skills for a feature they are working on this summer. Nick was a very agreeable person who has made this amusing and satirical short with a little twist.
It's very rare these days that families spend any time together what with social media, phones, Ipads and many other reasons to not spend time around the dinner table.

This short manages to bring together a family for a very specific reason, family game night, what this entails is slowly and amusingly revealed once the families daughter brings home a homeless man. Also despite this being family game night the son is still trying to sneak in the use of his phone, amusing berated by his father every time.

it quickly takes a turn for the odd when us as the viewers realise FGN is something a little more sinister than we first realised. I mean when do families these days look forwards to doing something together as much as these are?
The trick is realised when the homeless guy sinks his kindly offered glass of 86 red wine. Game night is apparently family sacrificial night, aaw how nice is it that satanic worship can bring a family so close together!!

It is going to be played in the Toronto Indie Horror Festival in late August. This had some fantastic scripting and genuinely funny moments that brought a smirk to my face many times in this 11 minute short. The acting was fantastic and the fathers creepy facial expressions should have warned anyone else other than an oblivious homeless guy that something wasn't quite right!!
Remember let your family come together for at least one night a year and enjoy your Family Game Night!!!

THN gives this a strong 4/5, can't wait to see more work by this talented Director.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Review: The Asphyx (1973)

Image result for the asphyx full movieStars: Robert Stephens, Robert Powell

Budget: Unknown

Directed by: Peter Newbrook

You ever watch a film that shits you up so much you stop watching it?
The Asphyx is one of those films, well one of only 2 movies that I've had to do that with in my entire life.
I was young though again to young to properly understand the film and just got terrified of the screaming ghost stuff that was going on, lol.

Made in 1973 it has great effects for its time but there's a problem with modern day releases. The american version is an inferior 35mm copy but longer. The UK version is shorter but a much better quality print. I've seen the most recent version that splices some of the inferior scenes back into the UK version.
It is a noticeable jump between the scenes when this happens.

The time is Victorian England Sir Hugo is part of a duo with Giles who are interested in death, ghosts and the afterlife. They come across a discovery that a photo taken at the right time of death will reveal a strange blurry shadow escaping from the body.
They believe it's the soul leaving the body, though Hugo is a tad skeptical over all of this. Later while he using a very early form of a camera to record family movies his wife and son unfortunately meet their demise to drowning in a boating accident.
Re-watching the film over he realizes that the dark blur is actually moving towards the target at the moment of death rather than leaving away. This is apparently from old Greek mythology a creature named the 'Asphyx' further research into this leads them to using a machine they built with phosphor stones and filming a man being hung for crimes and witnessing the same phenomena.

Later watching the film back they realize the beam caught the asphyx in it before it shorted out the men come to the conclusion that a persons asphyx my well indeed be caught or trapped possibly preventing their death.
they use newer equipment to successfully capture a guinea pigs asphyx, Hugo asks Giles to perform the experiment on him. He gets a great vault built so once he has trapped his asphyx he can seal it away so no one can ever free it once it's caught.
He uses an electric chair to kill himself, except slowly so Giles has sufficient time to capture his asphyx. Giles however needs help as it's a two man job and he gets his fiance to help out with capturing Hugo's. He offers them his blessing to get married if she does help out with the experiment, she agrees despite being horrified by the whole ensemble.

Christina ends up getting killed through a very bad sequence of events that lead up to them attempting to capture her asphyx. Hugo blames himself and insists on freeing his asphyx so he can actually die, Giles agrees so long as Hugo makes him immortal first.
Hugo doesn't know that Giles is tricking him and has removed the phosphor stones from the lamp so he can die when Hugo tries the experiment. Hugo realizes and tries to reverse the gasing of Giles but Giles manages to light a match and kills himself also destroying the equipment.

I'll leave it there as this is a decent enough film to warrant at least one watching especially if you are fan of old hammer horror stuff THN awards The Asphyx 3 out of 5 stars.

Friday, 4 May 2018

The Rain (2018 Netflix series)

Stars: Iben Hjejle, Alba August

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This Danish made Scandinavian show is set to break records for non English speaking series even more than other recent programs from Japan or other areas that are breaking out with amazing must watch programming.

It's started on Netflix today and is around 35-45 minutes per episode. It is Scandinavian spoken so will unfortunately require you to read English subtitles.
If your anything like me though if a program or film that is subtitled is good enough your often find yourself watching and understanding what's going on despite the language barriers (often forgetting to read the subs anyway).
Image result for netflix series the rain
It's set in a dystopian future where the rain carried a deadly virus that wiped out most of humanity six years previously.
Simone and Rasmus a brother and sister leave their underground bunker in search of remnants of humanity.
I have only watched on episode myself so far but I'm hooked. It is apparently going to deal with everything from coming of age to love and other emotions, mixed with how a world with no moral or social barriers will effect how we go about those feelings.
I strongly erge anyone who doesn't mind subtitles to give this a go!

Review : Hungerford (2014)

Image result for hungerford movieStars: Drew Casson, Georgia Bradley

Budget: £20,000

Directed By: Drew Casson

Well well I like to be good to low budget b-moviesb but this movie has some flaws I absolutely hated i'm sorry to others it might seem petty but these heavily detracted from my viewing pleasure.
Right first off I've NEVER been a big fan of 'found footage' films. The janky way of filming just grinds on me but if the film is good enough to make me forget or see past that it's always a bonus.
This film tries out things filming wise to cheaply achieve some of their effects and I appreciate that, they're trying something new but when it detracts not only from the viewing pleasure but also understanding of whats going on in film that's never a good thing.

The fuzzing and distortion whenever one of these creatures is near is very annoying, (also is never really explained why it does this either) with the already (to me) shitty nature of found footage filming makes this film at times a little hard to follow.
Which is annoying because I like to think of myself as at least moderately intelligent. So when a film loses ME on the plot midway through I think it's damn near going to confuse the hell or lose the interest of a lot of people.

So that's the filming gripes out of the way, now onto the acting, it was very by the numbers and very over acted like the actor being overly enthusiastic over a crumb (not literally a crumb just an over exaggeration of a point) though as the film goes on this does dumb down slightly.
Now for the plus points, made for an amazingly small budget in British pounds, this £20k would not have gone far trust me. On that budget this film does have some mighty impressive effects for it's buck. Good blood and shooting effects as well as the anomalies in the sky.

So lets get on with the film. Cowen a film student of sorts decides to film his life for a week or so after waking up from a night on booze. we are later shown some kind of rocking explosion from the inside of their flat. When they go out and see whats going on they see some kind of weird storm going on throwing out random guff. An out of breath cop shows up, who they all happen to know explaining radios, phones etc are all knocked out of action.
A council man of some kind also stops the officer to see whats going on and exclaims that a nearby empty factory has been hit by lightning. Slowly but surely people start acting weird and getting violent all over town, after a botched party where one of the friends gets accused of drugging someone who has a fit they all leave for home.
When they get back they are attacked unable to stop the attacker until they spray him with deodorant (a plot that is quickly lost as well as inconsistent throughout the film) this kills the guy.

Now here's a another niggle I have with this plot, as explained in the brackets above. The deodorant thing seems to kill some people, or make the bug spring from their neck, though neither really matter all that much because by the end of the film they are just shooting people dead anyway.
So yes the cause the attacks and people getting angry are some kind of burrowing alien bug that controls you by going into your neck.
They seem far to big for this but meh film logic. Soon loads of people are infected and they try to escape multiple times only to have something go wrong. Car crashes, finding other people, getting caught the think it, it happens to this group.

Like i said i kind of lost the plot when the cop shows up and they try to escape, i picked it up quite quickly but its a bit of a cluster fuck of an ending especially when sometimes you don't know whose left alive at certain points too. They all get captured near the end but are saved by some military types, after seeing some kind of humanoid kind of alien in the dark.

I haven't totally spoiled the ending as it seems pointless and just sets up a sequel, which yes they have indeed made and yes I will endure to see if it's any improvement on this mess. THN awards Hungerford a paltry 1 out of 5 stars.